Lecuona Cuban Boys

The Lecuona Cuban Boys was a popular Cuban orchestra which toured the world for over forty years.

The band was founded by Ernesto Lecuona, whose role was that of a patron-entrepreneur. He did not actually play with the band, but sometimes gave a piano recital before the band played. The core of the band was put together in 1931 as Orquesta Encanto; the band changed name early in 1934. On tour in Europe, in 1934, Lecuona returned to Cuba, and Armando Oréfiche took charge of the band in Europe. Ernesto gave them the gift of his name, which, at the time, was a property well worth having, and the right to use a number of his compositions.

The LCB was exceptionally strong in arrangements, compositions and instrumental quality (most of them could play two or three instruments). Their only weak spot was the lack of a really first-rate Cuban singer, but that was not so important as might seem because they played so often to non-Latin audiences. Some of their pick-up singers could sing in English, and many of their numbers were instrumentals. The band played the full range of Cuban popular music, but their speciality was the conga. Though it was perhaps Eliseo Grenet who first composed a conga in its ballroom dance style, it was certainly the LCB who took it round the world and made it famous. The LCB was therefore the first conjunto to use the conga drum regularly in its performances, and not Arsenio Rodríguez, as is often supposed.

The band initially organized itself as a collective, but in practice Armando Oréfiche (composer, arranger, pianist) was the leader. Other band members were Ernesto 'Jaruco' Vázquez (trumpeter, guitarist, composer, arranger); Adalberto 'Chiquito' Oréfiche (tenor sax and bongo); Agustin Bruguera (timbales, conga, voice); Gerardo Bruguera (tenor sax and clarinet); Jesús Bertomeu (trombone); Jorge Domínguez (alto sax, clarinet, violin); Daniel González (alto sax, clarinet, violin); Guillermo Hernández (guitar, tumba, guiro, maracas); Enrique López Rivero (trumpet) 1932-34; Alberto Rabagliati (voice) engaged 1934; later Fernando Díaz and Luis Escalante were engaged as replacement trumpeters. In 1947 Bob (Irv) Mesher joined the group after a brief stint with Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Pupi Campo. Irv took over the lead chair when Jaruco Vazquez left the band...

The band toured throughout the world: the USA, Latin America and Europe were the main tours. When World War II broke out, the band went to Latin America and continued their touring there. After World War II there was a dispute within the band, which ended in a split. Armando Oréfiche left with a few members, and started the Havana Cuban Boys; the rest stayed under the old name, based in New York until 1960. The Lecuona Cuban Boys continued to tour, and finally retired in 1975.

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1932 - 1945

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 59 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BAVE-039768 10-in. 12/15/1940 Rumba en colores Agustín Brugueras ; Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Osvaldo Novarro Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor BAVE-039769 10-in. 12/15/1940 Cuba! Agustín Brugueras ; Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BAVE-079863 10-in. before 2/20/1945 Invocando a changó Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Chiquito Orefiche Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor BAVE-079864 10-in. before 2/20/1945 Ay! Mamá Inés Agustin Braguera ; Lecuona Cuban Boys Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor CU-265 10-in. before 4/1/1940 Danza del fuego Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor CU-266[a] 10-in. before 4/1/1940 Camina pa' lante Agustín Brugueras ; Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Chiquito Orefiche Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor CU-298 10-in. before 4/22/1940 Bajo la luna Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Dolores Lombardo ; Oscar Lombardo Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor CU-299 10-in. before 4/22/1940 Salvaje Agustín Brugueras ; Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Oscar Lombardo Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet Musical group  
Victor CU-300 10-in. before 4/22/1940 La comparsa Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Armando Orefiche Jazz/dance band, with piano Musical group  
Victor CU-301 10-in. before 4/22/1940 Petrol Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Chiquito Orefiche Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal ensemble Musical group  
Victor CU-341[a] 10-in. before 4/23/1940 Habana de mi amor Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Pedro Vargas Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor CU-342[a] 10-in. before 4/23/1940 No puede ser Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Pedro Vargas Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band Musical group  
Victor CU-343 10-in. before 4/23/1940 Colibrí Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Victor CU-344 10-in. before 4/23/1940 Cocktail de congas Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Gramophone 0J775 10-in. 10/31/1932 Rapsodia tropical Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Gramophone 0J776 10-in. 10/31/1932 Karabalí Lecuona Cuban Boys Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Gramophone 0J782 10-in. 1932 De otras tiempos Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo Musical group  
Gramophone 0J784 10-in. 11/1/1932 El frutero Lecuona Cuban Boys Instrumental ensemble, with female vocal solo Musical group  
Gramophone 0J785 10-in. 11/1/1932 El pregón del dulcero Lecuona Cuban Boys Instrumental ensemble, with female vocal solo Musical group  
Gramophone 0J786 10-in. October or November 1932 Rosa la china Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo Musical group  
Columbia (U.K.) CAR3036 10-in. between November 1934 and February 1935 Se feú la comparsa Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia (U.K.) CAR3037 10-in. between November 1934 and February 1935 Fuiste tú Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia (U.K.) CA17154 10-in. June-November 1938 La cucaracha Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Gertrude Niesen Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia (U.K.) CL5490 10-in. 10/25/1935 María Belén Chacón Lecuona Cuban Boys ; Alberto Rabagliati Jazz/dance band Musical group  
Columbia (U.K.) CL5491 10-in. 10/25/1935 Tambah Antonio Bruguera ; Lecuona Cuban Boys Jazz/dance band Musical group  
(Results 1-25 of 59 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lecuona Cuban Boys," accessed July 18, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106801.

Lecuona Cuban Boys. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106801.

"Lecuona Cuban Boys." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 18 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106801

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